Joshua Boyd-Campbell: Homerton stage star trying to level the playing field with ‘diversity in acting’ workshops
Youngsters from a diverse range of backgrounds are being put through their paces at a drama workshop, which is set to climax with a public showcase next month.
The eight-week programme takes children aged seven to 11 from Hackney and turns them into talented young actors who will star in a production named It’s Complex. But the man behind it isn’t much older than them.
At 23, Joshua Boyd-Campbell not only has his own company called Complexion Workshops – he is also a professional actor, and has starred in CBBC shows as well as on stage and in film.
The former Stoke Newington Sixth Form student even cut his teeth at the Wally Foster Community Centre in Homerton Road, the same place he is now hosting his workshop.
“It seemed like the perfect place,” he told the Gazette. “I was a child actor myself and went to the Anna Fiorentini school and performed at the Hackney Empire numerous times. It’s good to give something back to the community.
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“I’ve always had a passion for wanting to represent children and there’s that underlying purpose of wanting to offer an opportunity to young children interested in the arts – not just those from ethnic backgrounds but everyone.
“Most drama schools are full of middle-class white children and after 10 years in the industry I have seen the lack of diversity. But instead of just complaining about it, it’s better to take control. There’s so many children that want the opportunity to make it in the arts but don’t know how to go about it.”
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This is the first workshop for Joshua and Complexion, but he’s not messing about. The children had to audition and show their acting chops before being accepted onto the course, when they were then able to meet Leanne Dunstan from hit kids’ TV show The Dumping Ground.
Joshua is hosting a series of free classes for teenagers over the summer, and has plans to host adult sessions too.
Visit the group’s website for more.